The Normalization of Deviance: Implications for Patient Safety

Event Information
Product Format
Prerecorded Event
90 Minutes
Product Description

Deviance results in heightened medical malpractice risk! Here’s How To Avoid It!

Any human being who is performing rule bound tasks will often depart from rules, regulations, protocols and standards that define the task’s adequate performance.  Succumbing to production pressures, personnel will often take shortcuts or do things their way, generally because they perceive their way to be more efficient.  

Unfortunately, such rule deviation frequently results in a clinical environment that becomes less resilient to errors, mistakes, and failures. Personnel become used to working in degraded environments where such things as infection control measures, documentation, equipment maintenance, cognitive vigilance, responsiveness to emergency, etc., suffer.  Not only does this create a less safe environment for patients (and other professionals), but it also results in heightened medical malpractice risk. Indeed, in virtually every instance of serious harm-causing error, investigations uncover personnel having deviated from organizational policies or standards, thus allowing preventable adverse events to occur.     

This presentation will explore the normalization of deviance in health care from a variety of perspectives such as:  Why is the concept important?  Why do deviations occur?  How might they be identified?  How can they be managed?      

This session will help you:

  • Explain the nature of deviating acts in health care with given examples;
  • Discuss how deviant behaviors can become normalized;
  • Learn why such behaviors tend to remain below the radar screen of supervision or leadership;
  • Offer a variety of strategies whereby such behaviors might be identified and intercepted with a view to patient safety;
  • Explain why the normalization of deviance is a never-ending challenge for health professionals and their leaders, and why our response to it should not primarily be punitive.

Who should attend? Any health professionals whose job duties require their compliance with rules, standards, regulations, etc., should have knowledge of why compliance failures occur, how common they are, how worrisome and costly they can be to organizations, and how they might be managed.  

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About Our Speaker

John Banja - Medical Coding Expert

John D. Banja is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and a medical ethicist at the John and Susan Wieland Center for Ethics at Emory University. He also directs the Section on Ethics in Research and Participant Advocacy of the Atlanta Clinical Translation Science Institute at Emory.

received a doctorate degree in philosophy from Fordham University in New York and has taught and lectured on...   More Info
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